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Currently Available Technology Can Transform Treatment And Care Of Children With Chronic Diseases, New Report Says

BASKING RIDGE, N.J. and BOSTON, June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Technology could be the prescription for improving treatment outcomes, while reducing costs, for children suffering from chronic illnesses such as asthma and diabetes, according to a new report released on Tuesday ( June 18) by the Verizon Foundation and Boston Children's Hospital.

The white paper, " Empowering Pediatric Care Coordination Through Technology," describes how today's technology – available, but not fully implemented and integrated with the healthcare systems – can be used to improve the complex coordination of care required for children affected by chronic disease and to help engage parents and children in the care-coordination process to improve health outcomes.  The technology includes cloud-based platforms, mobile health applications and provider Web portals.   

The report also frames the need to develop deeper, technology-driven innovation that incorporates parents and families as key participants in the care of a chronically ill child.  According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 32 million children suffer from chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes. 

The white paper was written by Dr. Richard Antonelli, medical director of integrated care at Boston Children's Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Dr. Andrey Ostrovsky, pediatric resident in the Boston Combined Residency Program.  It is available online at http://responsibility.verizon.com/healthcare.

The report's findings are based in large part on a Verizon Foundation event last December that brought together leaders representing families, nonprofit organizations, quality-improvement experts, policymakers, technology leaders, practicing physicians and health delivery system designers.  

"Healthcare delivery has barely begun to apply communications technology – but the time is now and the means are at hand," said Antonelli. "The beneficiaries of this innovative work will be children and adolescents with chronic conditions, as well as their families and caregivers. These innovations are broadly applicable and all people, regardless of age, will benefit.

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